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Question:
What are the most common, potentially dangerous interactions between supplements and drugs?

Answer:
Fifteen percent of men and women ages 62 to 85 in the U.S. are potentially at risk for a dangerous interaction between a prescription drug, over the counter drug (OTC), and/or supplement they are taking, according to a study published in 2016 (Qato, JAMA Intern Med 2016).

The most common drug and supplement combinations with the potential for harmful effects, according to that study, are warfarin (Coumadin) interacting with fish oil or garlic; the ACE inhibitor drug lisinopril (Zestril) interacting with potassium; and statin drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) interacting with niacin.

For more about these drug interactions, use the links above. You may also check for others in the extensive Drug Interactions section in the Encyclopedia.

Also see these related CL Answers: 

I take atorvastatin (Lipitor), a statin drug to lower cholesterol. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? >>

I take warfarin (Coumadin), an anticoagulant drug. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? >>

I take lisinopril (Zestril), an ACE inhibitor drug to lower blood pressure. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? >>

In addition, see CL Answers about supplement interactions with SSRI antidepressants (such as Prozac), insulin, proton pump inhibitors (such as Prilosec) and thyroid medication.

See other recent and popular questions >>


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